This Weekend in Box Office History: Comparisons for April 30-May 1, 2010
by Brandon Gray
April 29, 2010
The end of April is typically the calm before the summer storm, but Hollywood has become more and more aggressive with the timeframe as the years have progressed. This year, for instance, with Iron Man 2 set for May 7, high-profile A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) launches at 3,332 theaters on the April 30-May 1 weekend.
Five Years Ago - 2005
This weekend was one of the industry's most significant bids to start the summer season early with the release of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and XXX: State of the Union, but it failed. Hitchhiker's Guide blasted off with a chart-topping $21.1 million at 3,133 sites, which was solid by sci-fi comedy standards but perceived as somewhat of a letdown for such a long-awaited book adaptation. The Vin Diesel-free XXX sequel opened in third with a disastrous $12.7 million at 3,480 sites after giving a generic Tom Clancy treatment to the extreme James Bond of the first movie. • Weekend Report: 'Hitchhiker' Beams, 'XXX' Reamed
Ten Years Ago - 2000
U-571 led in its second weekend, followed by three new releases. Featuring a different cast and arriving long after the momentum had subsided, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas paled in comparison with its 1994 predecessor, debuting to $10.5 million at 3,040 venues. Time-travel drama/thriller Frequency launched with $9 million at 2,621 venues and would go down as somewhat of a sleeper success. Meanwhile, Where the Heart Is mustered a so-so $8.3 million at 2,437 venues. • Weekend Chart
Fifteen Years Ago - 1995
The further back one goes, the less competitive late April gets, but this weekend in 1995 offered two highlights. Expanding to 1,907 theaters, While You Were Sleeping was No. 1 for the second time, up 13 percent to $10.5 million. Friday rolled in with a $6.6 million opening at 865 theaters, introducing Chris Tucker and kicking off the Ice Cube comedy franchise. The weekend also saw weak beginnings for John Carpenter's remake of Village of the Damned ($3.2 million) and Chuck Norris family comedy Top Dog ($2.2 million) as well as the disastrous start of Destiny Turns on the Radio ($676,659 at 1,126 theaters), which was pushed as Quentin Tarantino's first acting-only vehicle. • Weekend Chart
Twenty Years Ago - 1990
Two extremely popular movies were neck-and-neck for first place. Pretty Woman returned to the top spot after four weeks at No. 2 with $7.2 million at 1,710 theaters, down 14 percent, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles generated $6.9 million at 2,377 theaters, off 29 percent. Pretty Woman was in its sixth weekend, having accumulated $81.3 million, while Turtles was in its fifth weekend with a $98 million tally. (Of course, Pretty Woman went on to out-gross Turtles with $178.4 milllion versus $135.3 million.) The Guardian (1990), Spaced Invaders, Q & A and Wild Orchid debuted nationwide but drummed up little support. • Weekend Chart
Twenty-Five Years Ago - 1985
It was a quiet weekend back in 1985: Burt Reynolds action crime picture Stick opened in first with $3.36 million at 1,173 venues. Right on its heels was teen cross-dressing comedy Just One of the Guys, debuting to $3.31 million at 1,215 venues. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment wasn't far behind in third with $3 million, coming off of a four-week box office reign. Famous movies such as Mask, Ladyhawke, Desperately Seeking Susan, Beverly Hills Cop and Witness also resided in the Top Ten. • Weekend Chart
Weekend Number / Date Matching
Another way of looking back at the box office is to check out the years when the dates and weekend numbers were aligned. 2004 was the last year that weekend 18 landed on April 30-May 1. That's when Mean Girls burst onto the scene with $24.4 million at 2,839 locations. In 1999, Entrapment ended The Matrix's reign on the April 30-May 1 weekend, lifting $20.1 million at 2,814 locations. On the previous instances of an April 30-May 1 weekend, holdovers led: Indecent Proposal in 1993 and Porky's in 1982.
• This Weekend in Box Office History: Comparisons for April 23-25, 2010
• Weekend Briefing: 'Nightmare on Elm Street,' 'Furry Vengeance'
• Bankability Breakdown: Brendan Fraser